Algorithms are taking on an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives. While these systems tend to remain invisible to most of us and operate seamlessly, they impact significantly the way decisions are made in contemporary societies. Such rapid technological advancements inevitably transform the fabric of social and political life, bringing various societal benefits but also a wide variety of risks. This panel discussion will bring together researchers and policymakers from academia and the European Commission to tackle pressing questions about the challenges we face in an algorithmized world, such as platform governance, disinformation, data infrastructures, and questions of fairness and transparency in the datafied society.
16 February 2023, 15.30-17.00
- 15.30 – 15.40: Welcome and introduction
- 15.40 – 16.40: Panel discussion
- 16.40 – 17.00: Q&A
- Rocco Bellanova, Research Professor, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- Emilia Gómez, Senior Researcher, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
- Gabriele Mazzini, Team Leader on the AI Act, European Commission
- Trisha Meyer, Director of the Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation, Brussels School of Governance
- Claire Pershan, EU Advocacy Lead, Mozilla Foundation
The panel discussion is organized as part of the Jean Monnet Winter School on EU Policy Making focusing on digital rights and diplomacy and is openly accessible to the public. Registration is required to participate.
Rocco Bellanova is Research Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (interdisciplinary research group Law, Science, Technology & Society-LSTS). He is the PI of the ERC project DATAUNION - The European Data Union: European Security Integration through Database Interoperability. He is a co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Big Data & Society. His work sits at the intersection of politics, law, and science and technology studies. He studies how digital data become pivotal elements in the governing of societies. He has recently co-edited a special issue on “Digital/sovereignty and European security integration” in European Security (introduction available Open Access at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09662839.2022.2101887), and has published a collective discussion on “algorithmic violence” in International Political Sociology (available Open Access at https://doi.org/10.1093/ips/olab003).
Emilia Gómez (https://emiliagomez.com) holds BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering and a PhD degree in Computer Science. She leads the HUMAINT (Human and Machine Intelligence) team and the scientific programme of the European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission. She is a guest professor at the Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Her research starts from the Music Information Retrieval field, where she has developed data-driven technologies to support music listening experiences. Starting from music, she studies the impact of algorithmic systems on human decision making, cognitive and socio-emotional development. Her research interests include fairness and transparency in AI, the impact of AI on jobs, and how it affects children development. She is a member of the OECD One AI expert group, the Spanish National Council for AI, and her team provides evidence-based scientific support to AI EU policy initiatives.
Gabriele Mazzini is an officer of the European Commission focusing on legal and policy questions raised by new technologies. In that role, he contributed to shaping and implementing the policy and regulatory initiatives on Artificial Intelligence. He co-authored the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (February 2020) and most recently, he designed and co-drafted the proposal for the Artificial Intelligence Act (April 2021). Previously, he also served in the European Parliament, Legal Service and the Court of Justice. Between 2009 and 2017 Gabriele lived in the United States. He worked for five years at the Millennium Villages Project, an international development initiative across several sub-Saharan countries and he collaborated with early stage start-ups in the field of emergency communications and energy in New York City. He holds a LLM from Harvard Law School, a PhD in Italian and Comparative Criminal Law from the University of Pavia and a Law Degree from the Catholic University in Milan.
Trisha Meyer is the Director of the Research Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation, Academic Coordinator of the Jean Monnet Winter and Summer Schools on EU Policy-Making, and Assistant Professor of Digital Governance and Participation at the Brussels School of Governance. She is also the principal investigator of the EDMO BELUX project, an EU-funded hub on research, fact-checking and media literacy on online disinformation in Belgium and Luxembourg (2021-2024). Trisha researches the regulatory push toward and societal consequences of tech platforms taking proactive (automated) measures to moderate online content, with a focus on disinformation and copyright. A second closely related research strand pertains to stakeholder engagement and participatory governance in digital policy.
Claire Pershan is the Mozilla Foundation’s EU Advocacy Lead. She works to ensure that the Mozilla Foundation's network of experts, fellows, partners, and supporters can contribute to and benefit from successful EU digital policy. She was previously Policy Coordinator at the EU DisinfoLab, an NGO specialised in monitoring mis/disinformation and influence operations. Prior to that she was Project Manager at Renaissance Numerique, a Paris-based think tank, where she focused on content moderation related to hate speech and cyberviolence. She has contributed to the European Commission Joint Research Center's work on Hybrid Threats in the Information Domain, and as a content expert for the international nonprofit Internews on the influence of new technologies on civic space. She has an MA from Sciences Po School of International Affairs and a BA from Pomona College.